Saturday, November 30, 2013

Why Does Torah Equate Shabbat Desecration with Avoda Zara (Idolatry)? [A Response to Derek Leman]

You shall make no idols for yourselves, nor shall you raise for yourselves a graven image or a pillar; nor shall you place any figured stone in your land to bow down unto it; for I am the Lord your God. You shall keep My Sabbaths and reverence My sanctuary: I am the Lord” (Lev 26:1-2)
Why does G-d prohibit idolatry in one sentence and then in the very next sentence reaffirm the command about Sabbath-keeping?  

It's almost as if G-d is saying that we must keep Shabbat in order to show that we worship G-d and not idols.

This idea becomes more clear in the Prophets:

"And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord," (Isa. 66:23).
In these two passages we see the following concepts:

(1) we keep Shabbat in order to turn away from idols (Lev. 26:1-2);

(2) we keep Shabbat in order to turn toward HaShem in worship  (Isa. 66:23).

[This is a response to Derek Leman's recent post:  CLICK HERE FOR LINK]


  1. Peter, what is wrong with your site that I type a comment and it disappears? Okay, I will save it this time just in case.

    Since Shabbat is given its own line in the prophetic pronouncements of the aseret hadibrot, I will assume that this subject stands alone. We do know keeping Shabbat, as well as new moons, the moed, or korban without the right heart attitude (kavanah) is considered worthless or even offensive to the Holy One. I prefer the view that Shabbat is an ot, a sign, like a wedding ring. Do you have to wear God's wedding ring? Well, why wouldn't you want to?

    I again take issue with a fake Jew and fake rabbi who thinks he has a right to direct real Jews (who will mostly ignore him) as well as non-Jews, (who just don't know any better.) Fluency in Hebrew would be the bare minimum for those title-loving types to dare to call oneself a rabbi.

    1. First, sorry about the comment system. Perhaps I'll have to implement the disqus system that Judah is using...

      Second, great analogy with the wedding ring. There is a great mystical significance to Shabbat that can only be analogized to the most intimate aspects of the marital relationship.

  2. I just read the link, same old arguments...

    He doesn't deal with the massive amount of gentiles standing at Mount Sinai receiving the Torah, and considers the argument to be "tortured". From a One Law perspective, there is no doubt the covenant is made with Israel, just as the promises to Abraham are made to him and his descendants, neither the 'Abrahamic' or 'Mosaic' or 'New Covenant', are made with or towards Gentiles, despite Abraham being a gentile, it is clear it is not made with the gentile nations, but one man(Abrahamic) and then directly his descendants(Mosaic and New Covenant). So where do the gentiles who want to serve the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob fit, they are welcome to join or be grafted in.

    Paul iterates it nicely in Romans 9, to Israel, belongs all these things. They do not belong to the gentiles, however the gentiles were always welcome to join. That is what we see in the 'mixed multitude'. If God only wanted the Mosaic Covenant to be made with Israel, then the massive amount of gentiles who stood there to receive the covenant along with Israel, should have been kicked out or sent back to Egypt. Simple math...

    Instead, what we see, is the gentiles serving the God of Israel, and accepting His covenant. We see this multiple times in Scripture, not just the mixed multitude, but also in King Solomon's time, 150,000+ according to the census...

    The issue here is simple, however Derek is making it complicated, Derek is trying to argue, that the gentiles who stood at Mount Sinai did not actually take part in the Mosaic Covenant, because they were not Israelites, who the covenant was made with... Instead they just disappeared like dust.

    He also said: And the ideals of Torah apply to everyone even if some of the specifics are about Israel’s peoplehood.

    You can't have it both ways, if the Torah only applies to Israel, then those who are not part of Israel, are not in anyway responsible to the Covenant and certainly not its 'ideals'... The equation here can be related to simple math.

    Tim Hegg, does a nice job of dealing with the intertwined Abrahamic Covenant and Mosaic... They cannot simply be separated and thus concluded that one cannot exist without the other. Part of the Abrahamic Covenant is fulfilled and seen in the Mosaic Covenant and of course the New Covenant. If you subtract one of those covenants, you start to destroy the Abrahamic Covenant...

    I think it is clear to see historically, that gentiles who took on the faith of Israel and served the God of Israel, changed their ways, and took on God's ways. And in the same way, those who have decided to follow Yeshua have been instructed to imitate Him, and thus change their ways to that of God's instructions, found in the Torah. Abandoning their pagan gentile heritage. It is quite easy to not only defend these points, but it is also very easy to see the conclusion in peoples lives. Keep in mind, in Derek's contradicting argument, he mentioned that "Christianity already keeps most of what is in the Torah", proving that gentiles in the Messiah were to keep the Torah, self proving argument... So simple... :P